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#1 2011-02-09 09:40:10

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
From: Spain
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 376

Following Soot

You’d think this was bad spelling but it’s to be found in otherwise well-spelled contexts:

If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follow soot.

This is not a case of imposing your ideas on others – this is a matter of LIFE and DEATH to thousands of human beings. If humanity has temporarily lost its senses with regards to abortion, why should we follow soot.

Spell-checker? You might expect there to be hits for “soot or number” and there’s only one.

But then again, what are the semantics? Following the sooty footprints?


On the plain in Spain where it mainly rains.

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#2 2011-02-09 10:29:42

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 991

Re: Following Soot

It is quite surprisingly common. It looks like another case where an idiom derived from a game has become obscure and open to reinterpretation. I doubt that the perps have a clear interpretation for ‘following soot’. The only instance I found that made sense was from 1855 (I almost wrote 18ff). It looks like an intentional bon mot, however.

Sketches and burlesques, 1855: The loss of a stovepipe
I fondly hoped to enjoy its society for years but one by one our dearest treasures are snatched from us : the soot fell and the stove pipe has followed soot.

BTW: the acorn is follow suit. See also follow suite and fall suit. You don’t think anyone falls soot, do you? Nah, impossible.

Last edited by burred (2011-02-09 10:36:33)

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